How to Become an Electrician in Lake Havasu City Arizona
The initial step to becoming an electrical tradesman or contractor is enrolling in an electrician trade school near Lake Havasu City AZ. But with so many vocational schools to pick from, just how do you approach making certain that you enroll in the best one? Particularly because there are a number of variables to evaluate. For example, many students will start by looking for schools that are nearby their home. Once they have found several that are within driving distance, they will select the one with the lowest tuition. While cost and location are significant, they are not the only factors that must be evaluated. Also important are the accreditation and reputations of the schools, as well as their job placement and graduation rates. These and additional qualifiers should influence your final decision when choosing an electrician school. We will talk about that checklist in more detail later in this article. But first, let’s review a little bit about becoming an electrician and the educational choices that are offered.
Electrician Degree, Certificate and Diploma Options near Lake Havasu City AZ
There are three general options to receive electrician instruction in a vocational or trade school near Lake Havasu City AZ. You may choose a diploma or certificate program, or receive an Associate Degree. Bachelor’s Degrees are offered at some schools, but are not as common as the other three options. In many cases these programs are offered in conjunction with an apprenticeship program, which are mandated by the majority of states to become licensed or if you want to earn certification. Bellow are brief summaries of the three most typical programs offered.
- Diploma and Certificate Programs are usually offered by Arizona vocational and trade schools and take approximately a year to complete. They furnish a solid foundation and are geared towards students who wish to get into an apprenticeship faster as a journeyman electrician.
- Associate Degrees require 2 years to finish and are offered by Arizona junior or community colleges, commonly as an Associate Degree in Electrical Technology. They provide a more well-rounded education while supplying the foundation that prepares students to enter into their apprenticeship program.
As previously stated, Bachelor’s Degrees are accessible at certain Arizona institutions, but are less preferred at four years than the other shorter programs. The majority of states mandate that an apprenticeship of at least 2 years and in most cases four years be completed before licensing. Because of that, most students are anxious to begin their paid apprenticeship, particularly if it’s not a component of their academic program.
Electrician Licensing and Certification Prerequisites
Electricians in Lake Havasu City AZ can carry out a multitude of functions, such as testing, installing and replacing electrical systems, and ensuring that the wiring in buildings and homes comply with code standards. After concluding an apprenticeship, journeyman electricians are mandated to become licensed in the majority of municipalities and states. The length of apprenticeship varies by state, but typically around 4 to 5 years of experience is needed before taking the licensing examination. The exams commonly evaluate electrical theory and general knowledge, along with knowledge of the National Electrical Code (NEC). Obtaining certification is also a voluntary way for an electrician to distinguish her or himself as a experienced and skilled professional. The certifications available differ by state and may be earned in various specialties, such as cable splicing as an example. The certification process in most cases includes 3 levels of proficiency:
- An experience requirement
- Passing a written exam
- Passing a practical exam
Examples of certifying organizations include the National Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee (NJATC) as well as the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies (NICET). It’s important that the electrician vocational school that you pick not only delivers a solid educational foundation, but also helps prepare you for passing any licensing and certification examinations that you might need to pass in the future.
Enrolling in Electrician Online Schools in Lake Havasu City AZ
An alternative that you may have looked at is choosing an online electrician school to earn a degree or a certificate. Even though online training programs are becoming more popular as a means of attending class without needing to travel, in this case they are not completely internet based. Pretty much all electrician training programs require some attendance on campus to get practical hands-on training. But since the rest of the classes can be attended online, distance learning can be a more practical alternative for individuals that have limited time for schooling. And as an added benefit numerous online degree programs have a lower tuition cost compared to their traditional alternatives. Driving costs from Lake Havasu City AZ are also minimized and a portion of the study materials may be accessed on line also. Each of these benefits can make electrician online tech schools more affordable and convenient. And many are fully accredited, which we will discuss in our questions to ask checklist.
Points to Ask Electrician Tech Schools
When you have made a decision to obtain a certificate, diploma or degree, you can start to narrow down your training options. Considering that there are numerous electrician tech and trade schools in the Lake Havasu City AZ area, it’s essential to have a checklist of qualifications that each school must meet. The initial 2 that we discussed were location and tuition expense. If you are interested in earning an degree online, then that must be an option that your final school offers. And even though all three qualifiers may be crucial when making your selection, there are additional variables that must be considered also. Below is a checklist of those added qualifiers that you will need to assess before selecting an electrical technical school.
Accreditation. Numerous electrician trade programs have earned either a regional or a national accreditation. They may attain Institutional Accreditation, which focuses on the school’s programs overall, or Programmatic Accreditation, which relates to an individual program, for instance electrical technology. Make sure that the Lake Havasu City AZ school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency, such as the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. Along with helping make certain that you get a quality education, it may help in obtaining financial assistance or student loans, which are in many cases unavailable for non-accredited schools. Also, many states require that the electrician training program be accredited for it to be approved for licensing.
High Completion and Placement Rates. Ask the electrician training programs you are looking at what their completion rates are. The completion rate is the portion or percentage of students who enroll in and complete the program. A low completion rate could signify that students were dissatisfied with the course and quit. It could also mean that the teachers were not qualified to instruct the students. It’s similarly important that the schools have high job placement rates. Older and/or more reputable schools may have a broader directory of alumni, which can produce more contacts for the school to use for their apprenticeship and job placement programs. A high job placement rate will not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the industry, but also that it has the network of contacts to assist Lake Havasu City AZ students acquire apprenticeships or employment.
Apprenticeship Programs. Numerous electrician vocational programs are taught in conjunction with an apprenticeship or an internship program. Those participating technical and vocational schools will help place you in an apprenticeship program within their network of electrician businesses or labor unions. Ask if the schools you are reviewing have working partnerships with Lake Havasu City AZ area electricians or electrical companies. An apprenticeship not only offers a valuable experience by providing practical training, but it also supplies job opportunities and helps to establish relationships in the regional electrician professional community.
Modern Facilities. Confirm that the campus facilities and the tools that you will be trained on are state-of-the-art and what you will be working with in the field. If you are already in an internship or an apprenticeship, check with the electrical technician you are working with regarding what you should be expecting. If not, ask a local Lake Havasu City AZ electrical contractor if they can give you some tips. Additionally bear in mind that unless you are willing to relocate, the school needs to be within driving distance of your Lake Havasu City residence. Take note that if you decide to enroll in an out-of-state school, besides the added relocation costs there may be higher tuition charges compared to in-state residents.
Smaller Classes. It’s important that you get as much individualized training as possible, which can be difficult in larger classes. Ask if you can sit in on a couple of the classes so that you can see how big they are and witness first hand the interaction between students and teachers. Speak to some of the students and get their feedback regarding class sizes and instruction. Last, speak with some of the teachers and learn what their level of expertise is and what degrees or certifications they hold.
Flexible Scheduling. Confirm that the class schedules for the schools you are reviewing are flexible enough to handle your needs. If you are only able to attend classes in the evening or on weekends near Lake Havasu City AZ, confirm that the programs you are comparing provide those choices. If you can only attend part-time, make sure that the school you select offers part-time enrollment. Also, find out what the policy is to make-up classes should you miss any due to work, sickness or family responsibilities.
Considering Attending an Electrician School near Lake Havasu City AZ?
Following is a little bit of background information about the Lake Havasu City AZ area.
Lake Havasu City, Arizona
Lake Havasu City is a city in Mohave County, Arizona, United States. According to 2010 census, the population of the city was 52,527 people. It is served by Lake Havasu City Airport. Lake Havasu City is geographically isolated from the other cities in Mohave County and is the southernmost community of the Las Vegas–Henderson, NV–AZ combined statistical area.
The community first started as an Army Air Corps rest camp, called "Site Six". during World War II on the shores of Lake Havasu. In 1958, American businessman Robert P. McCulloch purchased 3,353 acres (13.57 km2) of property on the east side of the lake along Pittsburgh Point, the peninsula that eventually would be transformed into "the Island".
After four years of planning, McCulloch Properties acquired another 13,000 acres of federal land in the surrounding area. Lake Havasu City was established on September 30, 1963, by a resolution of the Mohave County Board of Supervisors as the Lake Havasu Irrigation and Drainage District, making it a legal entity. (The act is referenced in resolution #63-12-1.) The city was incorporated in 1978.
Select the Ideal Electrical Tech School near Lake Havasu City AZ
Choosing the best electrical training program will undoubtedly be the most important decision you will make to launch your new trade. As we have discussed in this article, there are many things that you will need to assess and compare between the schools you are considering. It’s a prerequisite that any electrical tech school that you are evaluating includes a lot of hands-on training. Classes need to be small in size and every student must have their own equipment to train with. Classroom instruction should offer a real-world frame of reference, and the training program should be current and in-line with industry standards. Programs vary in duration and the type of credential provided, so you will have to ascertain what length of program and credential will best serve your needs. Every program offers different possibilities for certification as well. Perhaps the best means to research your short list of schools is to go to each campus and speak with the students and instructors. Take the time to monitor some classes. Tour the campus and facilities. Make certain that you are confident that the school you select is the ideal one for you. With the right training, hard work and dedication, the final result will be a new career as a professional electrician in Lake Havasu City AZ.
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